Movies that are slightly off.
The Games...The Romance...The Spirit...Camelot is a state of mind.
George Romero's unusual story of a modern-day Renaissance troupe whose participants follow a medieval code of honor.
One of those crazy and unique movies that it's sort of impossible to rate. On the one hand, George Romero isn't as good a dramatist as he is a genre stylist, so a lot of the scenes in this are hide-under-the-moat embarrassing. But on the other hand it's such a singular vision and exploration of themes that were obviously important to Romero that it's always fascinating (the fact that it's chock full of awesome motorcycle stunts doesn't hurt either).
Also in this movie's favor are two powerhouse performances from Ed Harris and Tom Savini. As ridiculous as this movie gets (and that is a significant figure), they're never anything but committed to their characters.
I love that Romero is so earthy a filmmaker that his idea of glitzy showbiz decadence is a bunch of dudes smashing lamps over each other in a cheap motel room.
You know that feeling when you strike pure movie making gold? George A. Romero's Knightriders may be hardcore ridiculous but beautifully and profoundly ridiculous. This is a movie about a traveling Renaissance Fair that uses motorcycles instead of horses and stars Ed Harris and Dr. Gore Tom Savini. That right there is the definition of cult film. Sounds like a fun 90 minute romp hey? NAH this thing is 2 and half hours because it isn't even really about a Ren Fair it's about the American Dream BABY! This is the Boogie Nights of Ren Fair movies. George A. Romero didn't sellout to the big show, even when they were pillaging his livelihood. George A. Romero is a GODDAMN king in a world of filthy Black Knights trying to take the crown. Bow down.
A 2 1/2 hour George Romero film about medieval re-enactors including Ed Harris and Tom fuckin' Savini. Instead of horses they ride and joust on motorbikes. I was always going to love this.
I quickly got over how silly this all was by the general awesomeness on display. Great stunts, ace music by Donald Rubenstein (he's even in this one as a cool musician dude serenading Harris) and enough delicious subtext to make up for the last however many dodgy zombie films from George. Well, maybe not quite.
Let us ride to Camelot! It is a silly place.
Here, George Miller, this is how you set up some serious high-octane clashes. Your dirt has glitter mixed all over it. Romero's dirt stares you right in the face and spits in your eye.
A 144 minute movie about Knights on Motorbikes???
A 144 minute Film about the internal struggle to choose artistic & spiritual freedom over fame & money and about finding happiness in your true identity.
Weekly reminder to independent filmmakers: you can make a movie about whatever you want. You could even make a straight-faced epic about a motorcycle riding Renaissance Festival troupe if you thought you could do it with sincerity. George Romero did, and it bears his fascination with turning small communities (be it zombie apocalypse survivors in a shopping mall or Society for Creative Anachronism on Wheels) into microcosms of America at large. Rather than establishing a utopia just to destroy it, here Romero seems more optimistic that staying true and not selling out actually will give a permanency to the ideas espoused by the good king Ed Harris (his best performance?). The temptations of money and fame that plague the troupe…
Love this. A group of Romero regulars given subplots and motivations? Romero directing motorcycle duels? Savini wearing a weird leather fetish outfit? I'm a huge fan.
George A. Romero wrote and directed this Arthurian wheeler: the motorcyclists wear medieval-looking helmets with plumes, and they joust on their bikes at the Renaissance tournaments that they stage. They're a travelling Camelot, with a king, Billy (Ed Harris), who administers a code that is supposed to keep them safe from the hucksterism of the outside world. Possibly, Romero had in mind both the big MGM IVANHOE (1952) and Tom Laughlin's BILLY JACK (1971), with its mystical man-of-action hero. The picture isn't offensive; it's simpleminded, though, inept, and long (2 hours and 26 minutes). Romero keeps his stunt men whirring by, crashing, flying through the air, but there's no kinetic drama in the hurtling bodies. Most of the time, we…
Romero's film is a fascinating glimpse into a world of cultish honour, one that seems both noble and ridiculous at the same time. The movie is long (145 minutes) and kind of shaggy, and it is hard to imagine who the audience was intended to be, but all of these things lend the finished product a very special place. It's very well-made, loaded with character, and very much feels like the people involved were excited and passionate about the experience. And much like the oddball characters in the film, the experience was very meaningful and a matter of principle, even if the rest of the world looks on with puzzlement. For my part, I think this is one of Romero's best films, and a rare, precious jewel that seems more and more like a miracle that it even exists.
As I watched "Knightriders", Romero's admittedly silly exploration of sticking to one's principles and not selling out, I found myself wishing that Romero hadn't kept returning to zombies over and over again, because he's an interesting filmmaker whose effective, low key touch would have served stories in a variety of genres. It certainly serves this one.
"Knightriders" is the story of a group of traveling bikers who stage jousts and medieval combat at various fairs and gatherings across America. They've formed their own impromptu Renaissance Faire family, led by their king, Billy (played by a baby-faced Ed Harris). He has established the unique code that they live by, although he's also stubborn and uncompromising in that code, which is sometimes…
Turns out Romero made a counterculture drama.
By no means is it perfect, but in many ways this is the quintessential George A. Romero film. Also, that's one heck of a one-sheet, is it not?
Review here: craigjclark.livejournal.com/915809.html
WTEVERLIVINGF? Very rarely have I had such mixed feelings about a movie. At first it was laughably campy, then it was like a full hour of boring as sin, then it gets incredible for the entire last act. Also, this had a very respectful portrayal of a gay couple in it, which I don't recall seeing too much of in the early 80s, so that was nice. It'd be a hard one to recommend, but if you've got 2 hours and 25 minutes to spend on something truly odd, this will fit the bill. Also, this is my entry for post-apocalypse day in the psychotronic challenge; I thought from the box art it would be post-apocalyptic, but I was wrong
Messy, long, and strange but also an unforgettably unique viewing experience that humanizes its merry band of motorcycle-jousting fairies (that's Ren Faire folk).
I had, of course, heard of this movie. It’s that weird-ass movie about knights on motorcycles. So that’s what I expected going into it. Instead, I got a fairly good, rather gritty (I hate that word, but can’t think of anything better) drama about the lives of a close-knit group of traveling performers and weirdos.
Bonus points for the gay representation, by the way: There’s a few openly gay characters, and it’s never really played for laughs, more as a “So that’s one aspect of this dude’s character” type deal.
UPDATE 6/25/2016: Martian Chronicles was gone, and now it's back. I had put a recommendation in to have some sort…